Cranberry Granola Breakfast Bars
I just can’t resist beautiful red cranberries that taunt me to make them into something enjoyable like these cranberry granola breakfast bars. Every year I eat a raw cranberry (by itself) and I get that same surprised look on my face, or so I am told. Perhaps I am a slow learner? Seriously, it’s like a yearly tradition. These little guys are super tart and yet exciting. A welcome break from sweet and savory, they linger in a category of their own.
With a fresh batch of granola, a hankering for some shortbread and plenty of fresh cranberries, I was able to make some irresistible breakfast bars. See photo above.
I added some freshly grated orange zest to the shortbread crust for a bright flavor. I reserved some of the dough from the crust to make a little bit of crumble topping with a sprinkling of granola to top it off. The crumble layer (as you can see) is covered with toasted oats that give these bars a breakfast-like appearance. I think I just needed an excuse to eat shortbread for breakfast. 🙂
The crust part of the recipe was adapted from the King Arthur Flour shortbread cookie recipe since I just had to have a shortbread crust. 🙂 I knew I could trust the King Arthur flour recipe to be a close base to what I needed since I enjoy their recipes. Don’t be surprised if you see shortbread cookies here very soon…
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving week, from my family to yours!
Spoil your family over the holiday season or leave this recipe open on your computer as a “hint” for someone to make as a treat for you!
- 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. almond flavoring
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup of chopped pears
- 1½ cups of fresh cranberries
- 1 cup of homemade granola
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a 10 inch by 10 inch baking pan with parchment paper on all sides.
- Add sugar and orange zest to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium low speed for 3-4 minutes until zest and sugar are well combined. Take just a moment to enjoy the crisp fragrance of the citrus!
- Add butter, salt, vanilla, almond extract and cinnamon. Mix until creamy and fluffy. Add flour and mix until combined. This dough will seem a bit dry at first, but keep mixing. It will come together.
- You will need ⅔ of the dough for the bottom crust. Press dough into the bottom of your parchment lined baking dish, making an even layer.
- Add your pears and 1 cup of cranberries, lay them on top of crust layer in your baking dish.
- Add granola to the remaining dough and mix together. It is ok if all the granola does not stick to the dough. Crumble your dough-granola mixture in your fingers, creating almost a full layer of quarter sized or larger dough crumbles over your pear and cranberry layer. Pour loose granola over the top of the crumbles.
- Scatter your remaining ½ cup of cranberries over the granola and crumbles. Bake for 40 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Cool completely by placing pan on a cooling rack before cutting and serving.